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Pejacevic: Lieder / Ingeborg Danz, Cord Garben

Pejacevic / Danz / Garben
Release Date: 07/31/2012 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777422   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dora Pejacevic
Performer:  Ingeborg DanzCord Garben
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

PEJA?EVI? Songs Ingeborg Danz (alt); Cord Garben (pn); Peter Stein (vn) CPO 777 422-2 (61:42 Text and Translation)

Dora Peja?evi? (1885-1923) is a new name to me, though CPO has issued two other discs of her music, one of chamber works and one that includes a symphony. Based on hearing this disc of almost her complete song output, I ordered the other two. The Symphony in F?-Minor (CPO 777 418-2) is a towering work, a late-Romantic symphony of genuine imagination, orchestral Read more richness, and true melodic invention. I have not yet heard the chamber music. Peja?evi? was born in Budapest; her mother was a Hungarian countess, her father a Croatian governor. As a result, there was a high level of culture in her life, and she pursued a serious musical education. She began studies in Budapest, and when the family moved to Zagreb in 1903 she studied at the Croatian Music Institute. Her skills were apparent, and went beyond the limits of that school so she was sent to Dresden and Munich.

The 29 songs here span Peja?evi??s career (she died at 37 of kidney failure after the birth of her first child), and reveal a composer of genuine talent and a distinctive voice. Her style is conservative and tonal, though some of the later songs are more stylistically adventurous. She was clearly influenced by the songs of Schumann and Brahms, and also perhaps Grieg. The annotator, Koralijka Kos, notes a resemblance also to the songs of Chopin, though I don’t hear that as much. In the later songs, one feels a Straussian influence as well. But these are much more than mere imitations.

I would not claim for a minute that these songs will replace the Lieder of Schubert, Brahms, or Wolf in your collection. However, for any listener who is interested in getting beyond the basic, the songs here will provide many rewards. The later songs are less tradition-bound, with melodic material sometimes alternating between voice and piano. The early songs are attractive, but less individual. The later ones display more originality and a stronger personality, and they repay repeated hearing. The settings of Rilke and Nietzsche are particularly original and gratifying. It would be interesting to see how she would have developed had she lived another 30 of 40 years.

One song, Verwandlung (Transformation), adds a violin to the piano, well played here by Peter Stein. Throughout, the piano writing is imaginative and effective, and much more than mere accompaniment. The performances by Danz and Garben are first-rate, sounding like real performances, not read-throughs learned for a recording. Very often with unfamiliar repertoire, we have to put up with second-rate performances. Not so here. These performances would merit praise even if they were familiar songs. The notes are thorough and helpful, and we get German and English texts (it would appear that Peja?evi? set German poems, and even one setting of her own text is in German). The balance and perspective of the recording could not be bettered.

Are these “masterpieces?” I hate the term, and hate the fact that there are many who won’t listen to music unless given a “masterpiece” warranty. The majority of these are lovely, moving, original songs, performed at a very high level, and they served to introduce me to an important musical voice. One cannot ask for more than that.

FANFARE: Henry Fogel
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Works on This Recording

Liebeslied, Op. 39 by Dora Pejacevic
Performer:  Ingeborg Danz (Alto), Cord Garben (Piano)
Verwandlung, Op. 37 by Dora Pejacevic
Performer:  Ingeborg Danz (Alto), Cord Garben (Piano)
Lieder (4), Op. 30 by Dora Pejacevic
Performer:  Ingeborg Danz (Alto), Cord Garben (Piano)
Ein Lied, Op. 11 by Dora Pejacevic
Performer:  Ingeborg Danz (Alto), Cord Garben (Piano)
Lieder (2), Op. 27 by Dora Pejacevic
Performer:  Ingeborg Danz (Alto), Cord Garben (Piano)
Maedchengestalten, Op. 42 by Dora Pejacevic
Performer:  Ingeborg Danz (Alto), Cord Garben (Piano)
Warum, Op. 13 by Dora Pejacevic
Performer:  Ingeborg Danz (Alto), Cord Garben (Piano)
Lieder (7), Op. 23 by Dora Pejacevic
Performer:  Ingeborg Danz (Alto), Cord Garben (Piano)
Lieder (2), Op. 55 by Dora Pejacevic
Performer:  Ingeborg Danz (Alto), Cord Garben (Piano)
Gesange (3), Op. 53 by Dora Pejacevic
Performer:  Ingeborg Danz (Alto), Cord Garben (Piano)

Sound Samples

Ein Lied, Op. 11
Warum?, Op. 13
7 Lieder, Op. 23: No. 1. Sicheres Merkmal
7 Lieder, Op. 23: No. 2. Es hat gleich einem Diebe
7 Lieder, Op. 23: No. 3. Taut erst Blauveilchen
7 Lieder, Op. 23: No. 4. Es jagen sich Mond und Sonne
7 Lieder, Op. 23: No. 5. Du bist der helle Fruhlingsmorgen
7 Lieder, Op. 23: No. 6. In den Blattern wuhlt
7 Lieder, Op. 23: No. 7. Es war einmal
2 Lieder, Op. 27: No. 1. Ich schleiche meine Strassen
2 Lieder, Op. 27: No. 2. Verweht
4 Lieder, Op. 30: No. 1. Ein Schrei
4 Lieder, Op. 30: No. 2. Wie ein Rausch
4 Lieder, Op. 30: No. 3. Ich glaub', lieber Schatz
4 Lieder, Op. 30: No. 4. Traumgluck
Verwandlung, Op. 37a
Liebeslied, Op. 39
Madchengestalten, Op. 42: I. Als du mich einst gefunden hast
Madchengestalten, Op. 42: II. Viel Fahren sind auf den Flussen
Madchengestalten, Op. 42: III. Ich bin eine Waise
Madchengestalten, Op. 42: IV. Ich war ein Kind und traumte viel
An eine Falte, Op. 46
2 Schmetterlingslieder, Op. 52: No. 1. Gold'ne Sterne, blaue Glockchen
2 Schmetterlingslieder, Op. 52: No. 2. Schwebe du Schmetterling, schwebe vorbei
3 Gesange, Op. 53: No. 1. Venedig
3 Gesange, Op. 53: No. 2. Vereinsamt
3 Gesange, Op. 53: No. 3. Der Einsamste
2 Lieder, Op. 55: No. 1. Zu dir
2 Lieder, Op. 55: No. 2. Um bei dir zu sein

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